RMC & Sydney Shield | Previews
Ron Massey Cup Round 24 Preview
Isn’t it amazing how this time of year seems to come and go in a flash? It seems as if the season only begun yesterday, but here we are staring down the barrel of yet another exciting finals series. It was a regular season full of great tries, big hits, and outstanding victories.
The fireworks of semi-final football are about to light up all the grounds. Be prepared for an adlib style of play, as some teams will be competing in must-win games. Nevertheless, we still have a round of football ahead of us and the make-up of the top eight in both competitions are still yet to be decided.
The bottom half of the top eight is a major talking point this week, seeing as four teams are fighting it out for seventh and eighth on the ladder. Guildford and Concord-Burwood respectively are the teams sitting in these spots but Cabramatta and Wests are the other teams still in contention.
An absolute gem of a game between Concord-Burwood and Cabramatta will be held at 3pm this Sunday afternoon. New Era Stadium is sure to get vocal with the winner of this game going into the finals and the losing team will have to pack their bags and try again next year.
Patrice Siolo, one of Cabramatta’s players, knows the importance of this game. “This weekend’s game is massive for us. We need to win. It’s our last chance to try and secure a spot for the top eight and carry on our late surge to the finals,” Siolo said.
Siolo has been in and out of the team throughout the year, but has nothing but praise from his experiences at Cabramatta. “I think our group has bonded well this season considering the amount of changes we get week to week,” Siolo explained.
“Trainings have been very positive. We work on what we don’t do well and focus on the things we do great. Also I think there is a lot of respect in the group that goes a long way to making a successful playing environment.”
This is the time of the season where the senior players need to stand up and use their experience to get the team across the line.
“The likes of Kris Keating and Adrian Ha'angana bring us a good mix of experience and enthusiasm, and often seem to lift when our team needs it.”
“When we need someone to get us out of trouble Josh Davies always seems to put his hand up. He’s a powerhouse of a human and has been really strong for us.”
This game isn’t going to be a walk in the park and both teams will need to prove that they deserve to play finals footy.
Sydney Shield Round 24 Preview
In the Sydney Shield the story is quite the same, the top six (Wenty, Windsor, Peninsula, Mounties, Hills and East Campbelltown) will definitely be there. However, it will be seventh and eighth spot being talked about all weekend.
As it stands, Belrose and Guildford are in seventh and eighth position respectively but Blacktown and Auburn are in hot pursuit for their spots.
There are a handful of must-win games being played this week, but one of the most vital clashes between Wests and Belrose will be played at 11:30am this Saturday morning at Campbelltown Stadium.
Belrose need to go into this game with a must-win attitude. A victory will see them retain their spot within the eight while a loss could mean they slip out.
Last time they played, Belrose snuck home with a one-point victory.
Belrose’s coach, James Mortimer, knows how important this game is. “It’s do or die. It has been for the last four or five weeks. We’re playing for our season,” Mortimer said.
Belrose went through a drought earlier in the season and are in this position thanks to a mid-season revival.
“Earlier in the season we struggled to keep a consistent team. We had one of the worst injury tolls,” Mortimer explained.
“We’ve got blokes playing in the same positions week in and week out now.”
“We’ve got a really close bunch of blokes. We always hang out together as well. The good part of being captain-coach is that you’re one of the boys. We just enjoy each other’s company.”
Mortimer and his team will be looking for inspiration this week in a game that beckons for someone to stamp their dominance.
“Alex Mammone up front has been unreal all year. He consistently makes big metres, he plays a lot of minutes and sets a platform for the rest of the team. The good thing is that our whole team is contributing, which is probably the reason for our success of late.”
Make sure you make your way down to the ground and catch some of this weekend’s action.